The word Jainism derives from the root word jin, which means “to conquer.” Jainism, one of the oldest religions, was founded in India and traces its history through a succession of 24 tirthankaras (“propagators of faith”), with Adinath as the first and Mahavira as the last. This entry discusses the history of Jainism and describes its beliefs toward violence and war.

Core Values of Jainism

Mahavira, born in 599 CE, was the historical founder of Jainism. He revived the philosophy of eternity, propagated by the previous 23 tirthankaras, and founded a religion. No other religion in the world identifies itself more closely with nonviolence toward all living beings than Jainism. This religion prescribes nonviolence and self-control, by which Jains believe that they can attain liberation. Jainism does ...

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